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CU Checking Is Largely Fee-Free

CUs are far more likely than banks to offer free checking.

December 31, 2010
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Credit unions are far more likely than banks to offer free checking. And when credit unions do charge a monthly maintenance fee, it’s about half of what banks charge, according to CUNA’s 2010-2011 Credit Union Fees Survey Report.

Roughly 80% of credit unions offering checking accounts provide at least one option with no minimum balance requirement and no maintenance or activity fees, compared to only 64% of banks.

Noninterest-bearing accounts are more prevalent than interest-bearing accounts—73% vs. 60%.

The prevalence of interest-bearing checking generally increases with asset size. Eighty-five percent of credit unions with $200 million or more in assets offer interest-bearing accounts.

Half of credit unions offering noninterest-bearing accounts provide them free of charge. Likewise, among those offering interest-bearing accounts, 31% do so at no cost.

Other findings:

  • About one-third (37%) of credit unions that offer noninterest-bearing checking accounts require a minimum balance. The median minimum balance to open the account is $25.
  • Overall, 17% of credit unions charge monthly maintenance fees on noninterest-bearing checking accounts. While 6% do so regardless of the account balance, 11% charge a monthly maintenance fee only if the account falls below a minimum balance.
  • Among credit unions in which the monthly maintenance fee is avoidable, the most common minimum balance amount is $100.
  • The median minimum balance to open interest-bearing checking accounts is $50.
  • About 40% of credit unions charge monthly maintenance fees on their interest-bearing checking accounts. Just 6% charge a monthly fee regardless of the account balance; 36% charge only when the balance falls below a minimum requirement.
  • Credit unions hold a clear advantage over banks when it comes to interest-bearing checking. Virtually all banks (96%) charge a monthly fee for these accounts.
  • Half of credit unions offer business checking, 40% of which require a minimum balance to open the account. The median minimum balance is $50.

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Great article! Unfortunately, most employees don’t feel valued or appreciated by their supervisors or employers. In fact, research has shown that the predominant reason team members quit their jobs is because they don’t feel valued. This is in spite of the fact that employee recognition programs have proliferated in the workplace – over 90% of all organizations in the U.S. has some form of employee recognition activities in place. But most employee recognition programs are viewed with skepticism and cynicism – because they aren’t viewed as being genuine in their communication of appreciation. Getting the “employee of the month” award, receiving a certificate of recognition, or a “Way to go, team!” email just don’t get the job done. How do you communicate authentic appreciation? We have found people have different ways that they want to be shown appreciation, and if you don’t communicate in the language of appreciation important to them, you essentially “miss the mark”. Additionally, employees need to receive recognition more than once a year at their performance review. Otherwise, they view the praise as “going through the motions”. A third component of authentic appreciation is that the communication has to be about them personally – not the department, not their group, but something they did. Finally, they have to believe that you mean what you say. How you treat them has to match the words you use. If you are not sure how your team members want to be shown appreciation, the Motivating By Appreciation Inventory (www.appreciationatwork.com/assess) will identify the language of appreciation and specific actions preferred by each employee. You then can create a group profile for your team, so everyone knows how to encourage one another. Remember, employees want to know that they are valued for what they contribute to the success of the organization. And communicating authentic appreciation in the ways they desire it can make the difference between keeping your quality team members or having a negative work environment that everyone wants to leave. Paul White, Ph.D., is the co-author of The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace with Dr. Gary Chapman.

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